Trekking retires and joins the Godolphin Lifetime Care program
Trekking proved himself a “warrior” on the racetrack, so Godolphin’s decision to retire the seven-year-old at the recommendation of head trainer James Cummings was much more a reward for effort than anything else for a valued stable favourite at Godolphin.
A winner of 10 races and placed 12 times from 43 starts, Trekking earned a whopping A$5,862,670 in prize money and bonuses for the Godolphin Australia team, founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, during a career spanning five seasons across five states.
The son of Street Cry won six Stakes races - including two at G1 level - and from his first preparation as a two-year-old matched motors with the cream of Australia’s sprinters from 1,000m to 1,400m.
After finishing fifth in the R.N. Irwin Stakes (1,100m) at Morphettville in Adelaide on 23 April and, while beaten only 2.5 lengths, Cummings decided it was Trekking’s final assignment.
“I just wasn’t happy with him proceeding towards The Goodwood (Handicap at G1 level),” Cummings said.
“I knew in myself the moment I wasn’t happy with a horse of his calibre, it would be time to call it a day.
“He’s a warrior, he’s been all over the country racing under the Godolphin banner and I just knew it was time.”
Rewind the clock to December, 2016 when Trekking showed a glimpse of what was to come.
He debuted as a two-year-old with a win at Rosehill Gardens over 1,100m before a brave second to Trapeze Artist in the G3 Black Opal Stakes (1,200m) at Canberra.
As a spring and autumn three-year-old, Trekking won one of six starts in strong company but was placed in both The Rosebud (Listed) and Red Anchor Stakes (G3).
Trekking really came of age as a four-year-old, winning six of his 11 starts - including the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes at Caulfield (1,200m), the G3 Hall Mark Stakes (1,200m) at Randwick, the Listed Luskin Star Stakes (1,300m) at the Scone standalone city meeting and his first G1 in the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, running a record 1min 21.86sec for 1,400m.
At five, he won entry to The Everest when saluting in the G2 Schillaci Stakes (1,100m) at Caulfield and a week later finished a close third in perhaps his finest performance in The Everest of 2019 at Randwick.
Trekking came from 11th on the home turn to be beaten just under a length by Yes Yes Yes and Santa Ana Lane in the new track record time of 1min 7.32sec for 1,200m.
He then won his second G1 when beating Gytrash and Lyre in The Goodwood Handicap (1,200m) at Morphettville in 2020.
In 15 starts since, Trekking ran at the top levels, achieved three G1 minor placings and was often just behind the placegetters in other rich Stakes events.
“When you have a horse of his calibre, we are selective in the races we chose,” Cummings said.
“He was an absolutely fantastic racehorse who loved his training and loved his racing.
“He was unlucky in races at Moonee Valley, so it could have been three more G1s.
“The Stradbroke win would be up there but I was particularly fond of his placing in The Everest.
“I thought his win in The Goodwood was determined - he went like a machine that day.
“Those three were his highlights for me.”
Trekking will always be a special horse to Godolphin Australia managing director Vin Cox.
“The thing that sticks out more than anything is that at his third start, he went round in a Golden Slipper and then he raced on until a seven-year-old, there’s not many horses that have done that,” Cox said.
“He earnt over $5.8 million for the organisation, 10 races and two G1s, he’s just a trooper.
“He might not have been the absolute elite but we sent him round in all the elite races and every time you just knew what you were going to get.”
Cox was particularly proud when Trekking won the 2019 Stradbroke. But he wasn’t surprised.
“The day he won the Stradbroke was a great thrill,” he said.
“He won it brilliantly, was ridden perfectly by Kerrin McEvoy and he just smashed them.
“Having lived in Queensland for 10 years, to win a Stradbroke was a lot of fun.
“He was just one of those horses you had so much confidence in.
“You could turn up on race day and you knew what you were going to get, you knew he was going to try his heart out.”
Trekking will now graduate as a flagbearer in the Godolphin Lifetime Care program, which illustrates the commitment to the highest standard of care during and after their racing careers.
Trekking’s role as a GLC flagbearer is to assist in promoting the GLC program, the versatility of the thoroughbred breed and life after racing.
He will enjoy a well-deserved break at Kelvinside before exploring his post-racing career.